President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday urged D-8 leaders to prioritise incentives and measures aimed at increasing trade and investments among member-countries.
Buhari said this in a statement issued his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Friday.
The President spoke at the ongoing 9th summit of the D-8 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Buhari said the private sector and business communities in the D-8 must be assisted with incentives to widen economic cooperation among Member-States.
“As the D-8, we need to intensify our activities with a view to enhancing various measures and incentives introduced to promote trade and assist the business communities from Member-States to invest in our countries and widen our cooperation.
“We need to work hard to establish integrated manufacturing structures and markets.
“I will like to reiterate the importance of increasing trade and investment among our Member-States,’’ he said,
While reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to international trade and development, Buhari affirmed the country’s readiness to host the Meeting of D-8 Ministers of Industry scheduled to hold between Nov. 14 and Nov. 17 in Abuja.
The President, who highlighted the attractive business and investment opportunities that abound in the country, stressed the need for prospective investors to take advantage of the Federal Government’s new policies on trade facilitation.
“Nigeria is committed to, and is actively pursuing a policy of trade and investment facilitation for growth.
“The gains from trade are reflected in greater competitiveness, improved productivity, job creation, consumer welfare and prosperity.
“Economies that grow fastest and at more sustainable rates are those that actively promote trade and attract investment.
“We are committed to creating an enabling environment and making Nigeria an attractive place for business and investment,’’ he said.
The President also urged D-8 member-countries to support efforts of the African Union (AU) to establish the first ever single market for trade in goods and services on the continent.
He described the AU-backed Continental Free Trade Area for Africa as a “win-win for all, including member countries of the D-8.’’
“I am pleased to inform you of positive market developments presently in Africa that will support our efforts as Members of the D-8 to enlarge our markets, facilitate our trade and investments, and develop our economies.
“In Africa, we are on the threshold of finalising negotiations to establish the first ever Single Market for Trade in Goods and Services on our Continent in the Continental Free Trade Area for Africa.
“This will be a win-win for all, including member -countries of the D-8.
“As partners, I urge that we work together to support this effort of the African Union that will have a positive effect on global economic development and integration.’’
Earlier, President Buhari had congratulated the outgoing Chairman of D-8, Pakistani Government, and Dr. Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, the outgoing Secretary-General, on their commitment and strong resolve to move the organisation forward even in the face of serious challenges.
He also congratulated Turkey on assuming the new leadership of the economic organisation.
He assured D-8 leaders that Nigeria would continue to support the Secretariat in its assignments to achieve the visions and objectives of the organisation.
The D-8 member-countries include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.